Dusty Johnson says feds need to help states divest from China-related businesses
Congressman files bill that Gov. Noem's been calling for since 2022
Don’t forget about Congressman Dusty Johnson when it comes to South Dakota politicians calling for the U.S. to box China out.
South Dakota’s lone U.S. House member on Thursday introduced legislation for Congressional consideration that would authorize states to prohibit the use of public funds at the state and local level from being used to the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party.
"America should not help advance the CCP agenda, especially with state funds. My bill empowers states to divest their investment dollars from CCP-linked companies,” Johnson said, adding that the 13-page measure was crafted in cooperation with Gov. Kristi Noem, who last year called on the South Dakota Investment Council to rid its portfolio of Chinese investments amid growing concerns the authoritarian regime is undermining American interests.
However, the Investment Council ran into roadblocks, including fiduciary responsibilities that require investment managers like itself to earn the highest return on its investments regardless of outside considerations.
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Congress has previously passed similar legislation supporting state and local actions to divest from states that are a threat to the United States or committing human rights atrocities. In 2010, Congress passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. In 2007, Congress passed the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act.
Johnson lauded Noem for her diligent attention to threats posed by China to the U.S. and ongoing push for more federal action. Noem has also called for bans on foreign adversaries acquiring U.S. farmland.
“South Dakota understands the threat of the CCP, and I am grateful for Governor Noem’s leadership and partnership to protect our state from their communist regime," he said.
Noem returned the compliments in a statement accompanied with a news release announcing Johnson’s legislation.
“I am grateful that Congressman Johnson sees the national security threat that China poses,” she said. “Protecting South Dakota from nations that hate America has been a priority of mine as Governor, and I am glad that he is doing the same in Congress.”